Eric Zassenhaus

Days after Doug Weber signed up for the Samaritan app at the suggestion of his case worker, he received his first donations — about $80 in total.

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This week in L.A. tech and startup news: Xponential Fitness filed for an IPO. Torrid and Evgo debuted on Wall Street. Relativity Space expanded into a new Long Beach facility. Genies has a new headquarters in Marina del Rey. Accelerator Plug and Play opened a location in Downtown L.A. and SoCal startups ServiceTitan, Quizziz, FightCamp, TapCart, TOCA Football and Retina AI raised funding.

A New Fund Focused on Conscientious Consumers

With their new $28 million fund, Deborah Benton and Amanda Schutzbank aren't looking for the next billion-dollar exit. Their seed-stage firm Willow Growth Partners wants to invest in the kind of profitable "conscientious consumer" brands that abound in Los Angeles.

The LA Startups Rethinking Psychedelics

For some patients, psilocybin offers relief that SSRIs — the pharmaceuticals of choice for treating depression and anxiety — cannot. As California comes closer to decriminalizing psychedelics, we look at the SoCal startups poised to offer new treatments.

Using VR to Address Depression and Anxiety

Can a virtual-reality platform trigger the therapeutic effects of psychedelics? L.A.-based TRIPP is in the midst of clinical trials to test the efficacy of altering mind states in addressing anxiety and depression — without the drugs.

AI As An Art Form

The rise in NFTs has shifted the conversation around digital artwork. Playform is trying to stay one step ahead, making its AI toolkit available to artists and giving them full control of their intellectual property.

Peak NFT

Just when the world thought the NFT craze couldn't get any stranger, contemporary artist Matty Mo announced an auction of a non-fungible token sponsored by L.A.'s Seed Health, made of human feces and intended to benefit autism research.

Ring’s CTO Pushes Back 

As Ring expands their user-base, it's come under scrutiny from its work with law enforcement. We sat down with Ring's CTO to talk about about how the company sees its mission of protecting privacy in an age of surveillance.

LA's New Rules for Robots

Los Angeles is developing rules for robots to deliver food and other goods to Angelenos. It's also looking to roll out a pilot program for robots throughout the city. But the robots are already here.

This week in L.A. tech and startup news: Sweetgreen filed for an IPO. Snapchat partnered with UMG. Hedge fund giant Bill Ackman's SPAC bought a piece of UMG. Bionaut got a special drug designation from the FDA, and SoCal startups Songtradr, Mapped and GOAT raised funding.

Turning Local Food Trucks Into MVTs

On The Go LA has ambitious goals. The startup is appealing to immigrant communities, whose members make up much of the back-of-house work force in the city's restaurants, by providing relatively inexpensive access to a mobile kitchen. In the process it hopes to give would-be food entrepreneurs the resources to try out new business concepts.

A Robot Army For the Little Guy

As manufacturers scramble to fulfill orders for a booming ecommerce industry in an increasingly tight labor market, inVia Robotics and Rufus Labs are offering a robot subscription service that smaller companies can afford.

Who's Paying What for Creator Content

Within the last two years, at least 10 different platforms have announced "creator funds" to pay out artists and influencers as social media companies battle for eyeballs. We took a look at who's paying for what, and why.

A Snapchat Post is Protected Free Speech

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Pennsylvania high school violated a student's First Amendment rights when it punished her for posting a profane message on Snapchat expressing her frustration about not making the varsity cheerleading team.

FIGS Co-CEOs on Their Epic IPO

The Santa Monica company was the first led by two female CEOs and co-founders to go public; it was the first healthcare apparel company to go public, and it was the first company to make its IPO available on Robinhood. As of Friday, its stock price has nearly doubled from its initial offering.

A New Fund In Newport Beach

Ankona Capital — started by Josh Harmsen, Jared Smith, Brain Mesic and Newth Morris — focuses on business-to-business software companies. It just raised its first fund, which was oversubscribed at $66 million.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Bill Ackman's name.

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